Sunday, February 14, 2016

Rehashing and Rehearsing

My colleague, Susan Milner, and I just got back from another Mindfulness training.  During the training session, the teacher used the words, “We often are either rehashing or rehearsing”.  We are looking backwards or forward instead of gazing straight ahead and being in the moment. 

We have all probably been there when we are going over and over an upsetting scenario in our mind.  One thought leads to another thought and pretty soon we are on the train of thoughts down the track of darkness called “rehashing the past event”. It is a long dark tunnel of no return unless we recognize it and stop the train.  We can lose hours in a day doing the rehashing of events.

Rehearsing is when we move towards figuring out and practicing, in our head, what we want to say to someone. It might even come from rehashing the event. We might move into practicing the scenario of the future – saying out loud or thinking all the things that come to mind that we want to say to make things right, change the person or change the outcome of an event.  We might rehearse as we are listening to someone, getting ready to say what we want to respond back (which means we are not mindfully listening).  This too works towards losing hours in a day as we are turned toward the future on another train of thoughts down the dark tunnel of rehearsing with no point of return unless we observe it and choose to stop and come back to the present moment. 

Mindfulness is about keeping your attention here and now “on purpose”.  It requires the practice of observing your thoughts and feelings and letting them come and go, but being aware of being present.  As you notice your thoughts moving towards rehashing, you can gently direct yourself back to the present moment.  The moment of “now”.  If that seems difficult, focus on your breath.  It truly can be difficult to be mindful and present in the moment which is why cultivating a discipline and practice of mindfulness is encouraged.  Focusing on your breath, follow your breath with your attention as you inhale and exhale.  Now you are back to the present moment.  Focus on your breath, your senses, your environment, and whatever or whoever you are with in your moment.  As you move into rehashing or rehearsing, notice and observe it, label it, and come back to the present – which is all we really have.  Stay present in your moment, one breath at a time.  

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